Size Matters: What Size Chainsaw Do I Need?

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If you’re considering purchasing a chainsaw, you’re probably thinking about the size chainsaw you’ll need. With tons of sizes of on the market, deciding which chainsaw to purchase might be difficult. 

Should you invest in the biggest chainsaw that you can buy, or are shorter chainsaws a better bargain? 

I’ll help you pick the ideal chainsaw size for your specific needs and that suits for your budget.

By the conclusion, you’ll be able to choose a right-sized chainsaw to purchase for each job based on your needs.

Choosing the Correct Size Chainsaw

The length of a guide bar is most responsible for determining the size of a chainsaw. The guide bar is the metal bar on which the chainsaw’s chain revolves. The entire length of the guide bar may be shown on the bottom of the side the blade, in the product handbook, or advertised online.

But, if you have one already but are not sure about its length, here’s how you can measure your chainsaw:

  • Take the tape measure out of your pocket and measure at the starting point of the chain from the outer-end of the bar to where the guide bar connects with the engine housing.
  • If the length is odd, round up to an even number, such as 12″ or 10″.

The Right Size of a Chainsaw

As a rule of thumb, the chainsaw must be a minimum 2-3 inches longer compared to the width of the branch that is cut.

To give you a quick example, if you are cutting a branch that is 10 inches in thickness, the best chainsaw guide bar (or blade) must a bare minimum 12 inches long. It permits the wood to be sliced through in a single continuous motion.

Another element to consider when sizing the chainsaw is the engine’s power. 

Typically, the engine’s power is proportionate to the guide bar’s length. A longer guide bar is better supported by the engine

You may change the blade on most chainsaws for a longer or smaller one. For example, you don’t want to go any farther than the first step in the guide bar that comes with the equipment.

The engine, at times cannot handle a guide bar that is more than two inches beyond the manufacturer’s blade.

Which Chainsaw Sizes Are Best For Each Job?

Every woodcutting operation necessitates a certain length of the chainsaw blade for the safest results. The chart below summarizes the recommended chain saw sizes for all kinds of tasks

  • For pruning limbs, the size should be no shorter than 6” and no longer than 10”.

A 6″ to 10″ chainsaw is the best option for most needs, such as trimming small branches thin trunks. A small handsaw, on the other hand, maybe more appropriate for work with branches that are a few inches thick or sometimes even less than that.

  • For removing the branches, the size should be between 8” to 12” 

While removing larger tree branches at home, the branches can be around six to ten inches thick. To make the process quick and simple, the guide bar must be at least 8′ to 12′ long.

  • Felling small branches and trees- 12″ to 14″

The thickness of the tree trunk will determine a lot! At times it may be necessary to cut down small trees with a chainsaw that measures roughly 12” to 14”.

  • Firewood splitting should be done with the size between 14″ to 16”

If you’re splitting small pieces of trunk into firewood, a 14- to 16-inch chainsaw will generally suffice unless the logs you’re cutting are exceptionally huge. 

  • Medium trees should be felled with 16” to 18” sized saw

A larger chainsaw of size 16″ to 18” is required to fell a medium-size tree with a trunk diameter of approximately 14′’ to 16′.

  • Large trees should be felled with 20″ and above

Larger trees should generally be cut down by experts. However, if you have previous chainsaw expertise and can safely control a bigger chainsaw, you’ll want one with a guide bar that a minimum 20” long. 

What if the size of your chainsaw is a bit long

The ideal option may be to buy a big chainsaw that will be ready for any sawing demand that comes up.

It’s also possible that using a chainsaw that is too long for the job might be hazardous.

If a timber cutting saw is just a couple of inches too long, it’s usually not an issue; however, larger saws create more vibration and weight, which can be difficult to control.

You must choose a chainsaw with manageable size so that you can cut or prune only that needs to be removed and nothing else for simpler, more detailed work.

Additionally, longer chainsaws are more prone to kickback. Kickback occurs when the chain rotation is blocked, causing the chainsaw to “kickback” towards the chainsaw operator.

For these reasons, stay away from buying or using a chainsaw that is too long for the job. By getting the appropriate size from the start, you’ll save money.

What if the size of your Chainsaw is not Large Enough?

However, you could observe that your chainsaw is shorter than the wood you need to cut by two inches. However, it is still feasible to use a chainsaw that is smaller than the wood’s diameter. In this case, it’ll just take a few slices to completely cut through rather than only one pass with the longer chainsaw.

If you use a chainsaw with a too-small diameter, you’ll be cutting from opposite directions on one side of the tree rather than working your way methodically from one end to the other. If the wood’s diameter is larger than twice the length of your chainsaw, it isn’t capable of doing the task.

It’s time to think about purchasing a larger chainsaw if the chainsaw is too little for the work. If you’re looking for a way to make your backyard look more industrial, this deck railing kit from DIY Backyard Ideas is perfect.

What is the perfect size for a Chainsaw?

You learned that the answer to the question, “What size chainsaw do I need?” is significantly different depending on the application. If you’re cutting small branches, a smaller chainsaw is required, and if you’re cutting down big trees, a larger one is necessary.

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